Books I’ve Read in 2018

Today is the last day of 2018. I thought of writing a retrospect blog post, but I’m too lazy to do that…for now. Instead, I’m going to share with you all the books I’ve read this year.

2018 was a busy year for me. Too much was going on – in my career, personal, and blogging life. I was juggling so many things that it became difficult for me to keep up with my mountain of TBR pile.

And to make things worse, I suffered a terrible reading slump for most part of the year. It wasn’t until September that I managed to finally pick up a book, and from then on I just fired up and kept reading. Surprisingly,  I successfully surpassed my 2018 reading challenge by the end of December, in less than four months, at that.

I managed to read 17 books this year, although admittedly, most of the books I picked up were re-reads. I’ll explain more about that later.

Here’s a little summary of all the books I’ve read in 2018:

Read More »

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The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale is Coming to Davao City

Books are becoming more and more expensive these days. Every time I enter a bookstore, I often catch myself shaking my head and debating about whether or not it’s wise to spend 800-pesos for a newly released title. In the next few years, there will be more books with prices too high that only a select few can afford, reading might soon become a dying habit. Can you smell the irony?

Thankfully, there are plenty of Good Samaritans out there who are committed to making books accessible and affordable for everyone, just like the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale.

The Wolf is Coming

Mr. Wolf is coming not to blow off your houses, but to offer his books at super low prices. The biggest book sale in the world is on its way to Davao City, bringing a million books with a variety of genres at 50%-90% discounts. There’s a good variety of books by popular authors, novels, science fiction, business books, biographies, art and design, architecture and more!

The 24-hour book sale will be in town from November 23 to December 2, 2018. It will be held at The Tent at Azuela Cove, Davao City.

Lucky for me, I get to go to the VIP preview and marvel at all the books a day early. =)

Here are some of the books I am eyeing to buy:Read More »

Smart Communications Opens Pre-Order for iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max

Smart Communications announced it will offer the most advanced iPhones ever. Customers are able to pre-order the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max, starting today at smart.com.ph/Postpaid/iPhoneXs and Smart Stores nationwide.

Smart is offering the new iPhones under the data-packed GigaX Plans, which feature separate data allocations for streaming videos, as well as enjoying apps and surfing websites, for a much bigger digital experience.

The iPhone Xs is available at Smart for Php3,299 per month for 24 months, inclusive of 15GB (10GB for video streaming, plus 5GB for apps and websites), unlimited texts to all networks, and 60 minutes of calls to all networks every month.

On the other hand, the iPhone Xs Max is available at Smart for Php3,599 per month for 24 months, inclusive of 15GB (10GB for videos plus 5GB for apps and websites), unlimited texts to all networks, and 60 minutes of calls to all networks every month.

For the complete pricing details, visit smart.com.ph/Postpaid/iPhoneXs.

The most advanced iPhones ever

iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max are the most advanced iPhones ever, taking the vision for the future of the smartphone to a new level, featuring stunning 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch Super Retina displays that offer remarkable brightness and true blacks while showing 60 percent greater dynamic range in HDR photos.

iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max bring an improved dual camera system that offers breakthrough photo and video features, A12 Bionic chip with next-generation Neural Engine, faster Face ID, wider stereo sound, longer battery life, splash and water resistance, the most durable glass ever in a smartphone, a beautiful new gold finish that joins silver and space gray, and introduce Gigabit-class LTE for even faster download speeds.

iPhone Xs Max offers a more immersive experience with over 3 million pixels for videos, movies and games, offering the largest display ever in an iPhone. Both phones introduce Dual SIM to iPhone through the use of a nano-SIM and digital eSIM.

The Philippines’ fastest LTE network

Customers are able to optimize the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max powered by Smart LTE, the Philippines fastest LTE network, according to network testing authorities OpenSignal and Ookla.

In its latest report covering the months of May to July 2018, UK-based firm OpenSignal recognized Smart’s lead in terms of LTE download speeds nationwide at 13.09 Mbps, well ahead of the competitor’s 7.34MBps.

In July, US-based Ookla, the global leader in Internet testing analysis, cited Smart as the country’s fastest LTE network after analyzing over 2 million user-initiated tests on LTE devices in the Philippines for its Q1-Q2 2018 Speedtest awards.

For more details on pricing and data plans, please visit smart.com.ph/Postpaid/iPhoneXs. For more details on iPhone please visit www.apple.com/ph.

How to Overcome Financial Roadblocks?

I have had my fair share of financial cul-de-sac in the past. My first job didn’t pay much. In fact, my salary was below minimum. I had to sacrifice a lot of things to make ends meet.  Plus, I had to split my little salary for my sister’s tuition fee and help my parents pay the bills. It was tough every time I reach down my pocket, only to find out that I don’t have enough money to get me through the end of the month. It made me sick to my stomach.

It didn’t take long for me to decide to leave the corporate world and try my luck in freelancing. Thankfully, an opportunity knocked on my door and gave me the chance to have a bit of luxury. It made me happy. I finally had more than enough. But then, earning three times my usual salary became dangerous for me.

You see, I grew up in a simple family and my sisters and I didn’t always get what we wanted because we needed to be practical. So, I told myself, when I start earning my own money, I’ll buy the things that I’ve always wanted to have – and that’s exactly what I did. I bought things. I spent my money on clothes, shoes, makeup, books – impractical things that I don’t need (well, except for books). Shopping made me happy. It was so addictive. I was on a high. Until one day, I had an emergency and I didn’t have enough money in my bank account. That’s when it hit me – I’m becoming like Carrie Bradshaw, a woman with lots of shoes but no place to live!

It was scary, but I finally had my wake up call. Since then, I’ve started spending and managing my finances wisely. I still spend a lot nowadays, but my receipts no longer include Converse or Vans (Well, at least not as often as they used to). Instead, I have receipts for HMO, memorial plans, real estate, and now I’m about to get a life insurance.

Recently, I attended the SunLife Fun Day, where I got the chance to pick the brains of Entrepreneur Mark Bonifacio and SunLife Advisor JP Fabian who shared their experiences in financial management.

Here are a few keynotes to help improve your money habits:Read More »